Monday, November 10, 2014

Draft Schweich?

There’s a rumor that Team Schweich is circulating a “draft Schweich” letter imploring him to run for governor in 2016.  According to one state representative who got the call, Jack Danforth and Jim Talent are leading the effort “and an impressive list of other supporters.”

From a legislator who hasn’t gotten then call: “The whole ‘draft me’ thing is goofy.  Just announce and get endorsements…”


Here’s the video of Schweich’s election night speech.  Spoiler alert: He hammers Rex Sinquefield without mentioning his name.


Sifton to Formally Announce for AG

Over the weekend, Sen. Scott Sifton announced he’ll be announcing for attorney general in 2016.  This comes more than a month after the Rolla Daily News reported that Sifton had let the secret slip at a local Democratic meeting.  See Sifton’s website here.


Sifton’s Announcement Email

Dear Friends,

I wanted you and other key supporters to be the first to know I will seek the Democratic nomination for Missouri Attorney General in 2016. Our public announcement will come tomorrow.

My legal career began in the Attorney General’s office, where I worked on special prosecutions in cases of public corruption, senior fraud, nursing home patient neglect and methamphetamine manufacturing. I also defended against criminal appeals, keeping murderers, drug dealers, rapists, child abusers, and drunk drivers where juries sent them: behind bars.

As a senator, I have championed strong ethics rules for lawmakers and refused to accept lobbyist gifts. I have pushed to expand the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations, reform Missouri’s school transfer law, protect consumers and help keep seniors from getting taxed out of their homes.

You stood by me when we won a very tough race to defeat Republican incumbent Jim Lembke in 2012. With your support, we can continue making Missouri safer for every family, consumer and business. Please go to to help.


Scott Sifton

State Senator


But Here’s a Nifty AG Rumor

More interesting than the Sifton announcement is the possibility that Republicans might has a primary for AG brewing.

It’s said that Josh Hawley is mulling a bid.  In fact one source says he’s already signed on a consultant.  So… the next question is: Who is Hawley?  He’s a law professor at Mizzou and runs the Missouri Liberty Project.  And most importantly, maybe, he’s not tight with the trial attorneys.  And, might be a magnet for right-wingers who aren’t sure about Sen. Kurt Schaefer? We’ll see…


Blame Martin for Senate 24, STL County Exec Race?

One of the heartbreaks last week for Republicans was how close they came to scoring upsets in St. Louis County.   Steve Stenger inched out the County Executive’s race by 1,692 votes. Jay Ashcroft was beaten by Jill Schupp by 1,632 votes.

In both cases, the third party candidates cover those gaps.  Conventional wisdom is that Green Party candidates take votes away from Democrats, but that Libertarian – and certainly Constitution – candidates take votes from Republicans.

In the Senate 24 race, the Libertarian received 1,715 votes.

In the County Executive race, the Libertarian received 8,046 votes.  But what irks some Republicans, is the Constitution candidate – Joe Passanise – took 3,242 votes.  Passanise ran for County Executive against Charlie Dooley in 2006, and Buzz Westfall in 1998, both times as a Republican.

For those looking for a scapegoat then, they are looking at Ed Martin, the Party Chair, suggesting that his failure to convince these third-party candidates to drop resulted in the losses.

Martin can aw-schucks charm with the best of them; it’s one of his great strengths.  He can relate to most folks.  But then again third-party die-hards are a different breed.


Ferguson Prep: Who’s In Charge?

From the White House pool report on Friday night: This evening, the President spoke by phone with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to receive an update on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.  The Governor discussed his work with the Ferguson community over the past three months and the President emphasized the Administration’s commitment to continue to provide assistance as needed.   Earlier in the day, the President also received a briefing from the Department of Justice on their ongoing efforts to assist state and local government.  The President will continue to receive updates on the situation from his team, including Attorney General Eric Holder and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.


The current expectations seem to be for a non-indictment announcement next weekend – perhaps on a Sunday so schools could be canceled for the following day to provide for student safety.  The St. Louis Business Journal has been reporting on various office buildings in Clayton relating their emergency plans to their tenants should things heat up.


One surprising missing piece is any announcement about who will be in charge during the aftermath.  Will Nixon immediately declare an emergency and assume command?  Is Captain Ron Johnson slated to reprise his role as the guy in charge?  In the absence of a clear leader, is Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson calling the shots?  Or will be like last time around, various centers of authority with no one really in charge for the first week or so?


Empower Missouri

Missouri Association for Social Welfare is re-branding itself.  It will soon be known as Empower Missouri.  Its board approved the change last week.

We empower Missourians to affect positive change:

We empower our members that when we each do better, we all do better, and there is positive strength in numbers.

We empower Missouri legislators with researched data on the human impacts of their decisions.

We empower Missouri volunteers with action steps that produce real outcomes that benefit their neighbors.


Raise a Hand for Kids? Or Businesses?

Attorney General Chris Koster, speaking to the St. Louis Chamber last week – see the article here (thanks to the peerless Combest) – offered a proposal to raise the tobacco tax to fund incentives for businesses and jobs.

This proposal would interfere with another proposal to raise the tobacco tax already underway and in the midst of listening sessions with stakeholders.  It would earmark the money to help kids.  See the website here.


2016 Watch: House 96

In the $5K+ Contributions, you’ll see the name David Gregory.  He’s a Republican gearing up to replace Rep. Mike Leara in House 96.  He’s an attorney.  I think this is his biography here.



According to LinkedIn, former Rep. Connie Johnson has a new job. She’s now Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official at Postal Regulatory Commission.


Missouri’s minimum wage will increase on January 1 from the current $7.50 to $7.65.  That extra 15 cents an hour amounts to a 2% increase.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Matt Hill terminated his lobbyist registration.

Teresa Blair deleted Amgen.

Kate Marx deleted Westinghouse Electric Company.

Claudia Starr deleted Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Grimes added Commercial Energy Consultants LLC.

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard deleted American Airlines, American Traffic Solutions Inc and National Canine Research Council Action Fund.

Jay Reichard added Computerized Vehicle Registration.

Chris Roepe deleted Fair Energy Rate Action Fund, and Roepe LLC, and added Noranda Aluminum.

Michael Shawley deleted StudentsFirst.

Joseph Thompson deleted Riverview Commerce Park Inc, and Environmental Operations Inc.

Erin Frey added Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.

Jon C Gubera added The College Board.

Steven Tilley added Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Phillip Schnieders deleted Altria Client Services and its affiliates.

James C Swearingen deleted Brydon Swearingen England PC.

Jennifer Durham, James Durham, and Richard AuBuchon added Kansas City Chiefs Football Club.

John E Bardgett Jr, Erika Leonard, John R Parris, and Kimberly Tuttle added Missouri Centers for Independent Living.

John E Bardgett Jr added Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.

John E Bardgett Jr, John R Parris and Kimberly Tuttle deleted Husch Blackwell LLP.

John E Bardgett Jr, Kimberly Tuttle, Jacqueline M Bardgett, and Carol Kemna deleted Missouri Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

John E Bardgett Jr, Kimberly Tuttle, and Erika Leonard deleted Missouri Full Employment Group LLC.

Michael Barrett added Missouri State Public Defender System.

John F Nelson III deleted American Conservative Union.

Amrita Singh deleted Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

Erin Elliott deleted University of Missouri.

Jean Frank deleted Missouri Cable Telecommunications MCTA.

Noah Reandeau deleted Zebra Technologies Corporation.

Heath C Clarkston, Harry Gallagher and Shawn Dabreu added US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

L Kent Gaines deleted Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, and Intralot Inc.

Kristian Starner deleted Brent Hemphill and Associates, its clients.


$5K+ Contributions

Committee to Elect David Gregory - $5,001 from Janet Gregory. - $10,000 from Pelopidas.

Spence for Judge - $5,041 from Rebecca Spencer.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Citizens for Torpey.

Integrity in Law Enforcement - $10,000 from Sanders for Jackson County.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Chris Schappe (44).